A Guide To Ladder Safety For Businesses
Any business owner will know the importance of health and safety at work, and how a core element of workplace safety includes the protocol involved in working at heights.
But not all business owners have the time to brush up on the ins and outs of ladder safety at the granular level that our expert team here at The Replacement Light Bulb Company make sure they are clued up in in order to do their job effectively.
Today, we thought we would share some of the fundamentals of ladder safety, including a look at how to safely assess the different types of ladders that business owners may come across.
But first, let’s take a look at the main legislation behind working at height.
Working at height
There are three core things that must be in place when you are planning to work at height. This is whether working at height is your everyday job, or something that you need to do on a rarer basis.
- Prepare fully
If you need to use a ladder to carry out a task, you must plan beforehand. Make sure you are wearing flat comfortable and practical shoes, and ensure you have sufficient lighting to see what you are doing.
- Be supervised
Never attempt to work at height on your own – if you have an accident and no one else is around, it can be very dangerous.
- Have the right conditions
Outside ladder work should never be carried out in poor weather conditions. A slippery wet ladder can be a lethal piece of equipment.
Types of ladder
Whilst analysing the different types of ladder may not sound like the most entertaining of reads, it’s incredibly important to know the difference before you start climbing the rungs.
- Leaning ladders
There are three crucial things to check on a leaning ladder before using it.
First and foremost is to ensure that the stiles are not damaged (split or bent out of shape). The stiles, or rails, are the part of the ladder that allows you to extend or decrease the length. They run vertical along the side of the ladder.
Next to check are the rungs (or steps) themselves. If they are loose, bent or any are missing, do not use the ladder. It’s time for a new one!
Finally – the feet. If they are missing, worn or damaged then the ladder could slip and fall over…and you with it!
Checking a stepladder for its suitability and safety is a six-step process – but do not let this put you off as each step is very important.
First of all, check the locking bars at the sides of the platform. If these bars are bent or loose, the ladder could collapse.
Next are the feet, and as with a leaning ladder, if they are worn or damaged the ladder will slip.
Step three is to check the platform to see that it is sturdy. If the platform is split or buckled, the stepladder is likely to collapse.
The final three steps involve the steps and stiles. First, you need to ensure the steps and the treads on them are not slippery. Even on a shorter ladder, slipping off can get dangerous!
Then check all the fittings associated with the steps to ensure they are strong and stable. If the fittings are not tight, they could come out and cause an accident.
As with the leaning ladder, you will also need to check the stiles, or rails, are functioning properly.
Let us do the hard work
Want a team that has rigorous training in ladder safety to manage the all-important job of changing your light bulbs?
It’s our job to stay up to date with the latest legislation and we have our own safety-checked equipment, too. Get in touch today to book your slot.